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Durham Region to collaborate with community partners on Oshawa Micro-Housing Project


The Regional Municipality of Durham will partner with Lakeridge Health, Ontario Tech University and Durham College on the Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project.

The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project is a 10-unit micro-home community in central Oshawa that will offer temporary transitional housing with various supports, including financial assistance, employment services, mental health and addictions supports, life skills teaching and more. Occupancy is projected for fall 2021.

Lakeridge Health will contribute to the success of this pilot by ensuring program participants have access to community-based mental health and addiction supports. They will serve as health sector leaders on the planning working group to develop the support model for residents and will partner with Ontario Tech University and Durham College to create the evaluation plan of the pilot.

The evaluation plan will be led by Dr. Tyler Frederick, associate professor at Ontario Tech University, who is partnering with the Region in-kind to develop this plan and apply for research funding. Dr. Frederick will be collaborating with Lorraine Closs, a professor in the School of Health and Community Services at Durham College, on the evaluation. Beyond the evaluation, the project also aims to explore best practices for stakeholder engagement and co-design as it relates to supportive housing in the Region.

The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project is aligned with At Home In Durham, the Durham Housing Plan (2014-2024), which aims to end chronic homelessness in Durham.

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“The partnership between the Region and Lakeridge Health, Ontario Tech University and Durham College will support the success of the Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project by ensuring participants have access to the supports and services they may need. No one should get left behind or fall through the cracks and, by working collaboratively with our community partners, we can end chronic homelessness in Durham Region.”
John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Region of Durham

“There is an urgent need for housing in Durham Region and the Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project will help us move towards our goal of ending chronic homelessness in our community. This innovative, transitional housing will provide residents with the support they need to end their homelessness and obtain permanent housing, thanks in part to the partnerships with Lakeridge Health, Ontario Tech University and Durham College. Everyone deserves a place to call home.”
Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou, Commissioner of Social Services, Region of Durham

“Lakeridge Health is pleased to be part of this innovative pilot project. Through this partnership, we are helping address some of the social determinants of health including housing and access to critical mental health and addictions supports. By working collaboratively, we are helping to improve population health and fostering a healthier community.” 
- Cynthia Davis, President and CEO, Lakeridge Health

“Housing stability plays a key role in enabling the growth of healthy, equitable and resilient communities and the well-being of individuals. Ontario Tech University is excited to collaborate with the Region of Durham and other community partners on the Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project, which will offer life-changing support to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Dr. Tyler Frederick’s research expertise in the area of homelessness, combined with Lorraine Closs’ experience, will provide important ideas and insights to move this project forward, while our students will receive hands-on learning opportunities that will prepare them to make a positive impact in the future.”
- Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University

“We are thrilled to have Durham College provide expertise to this project, in particular Lorraine’s unique experience in developing co-design and co-production models for social innovation initiatives. That, in combination with Dr. Tyler Frederick’s wealth of knowledge on homelessness, and the resources available through our Social Impact Hub will allow us to evaluate an innovative and creative strategy that addresses chronic homelessness in real time. It also provides our students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in applied research while contributing to work that is making a difference in their own community.” 
- Debbie McKee-Demczyk, Dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Durham College

Quick facts
  • The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project was approved by Regional Councilfor expedited development on July 29, 2020 due to an urgent need for affordable and supportive housing.
  • The micro-home units will be located on Regionally owned land in central Oshawa: fronting Olive Avenue to the south, Drew Street to the east, and Banting Avenue to the north. This location will be available until a realignment project starts, in approximately five years. The homes will then be relocated to a permanent location, which has yet to be determined.
  • The micro-home units will be modular units, manufactured indoors and brought to the site for final installation. Design is still under development; environmental considerations will be prioritized to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Region is working with the Health, Homelessness and Housing Committee (H3), a sub-committee of the Durham Advisory Committee on Homelessness (DACH), to address the eligibility, intake process and ongoing supports needed for the Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project.
  • The goal of this time-limited transitional housing is to help bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing. Residents will enter into a Participation Agreement, as opposed to signing a lease, that will be tied into program participation.
Media inquiries

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Leigh McEachran – Communications Advisor
905.441.2644 or Corporate Communications